Archive for Dark Rock

Lord of The Lost live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal, Rock with tags , , , on 22nd February 2019 by izaforestspirit

Rain Diary, Lord of The Lost
Jack The Rooster, Tampere, Finland
21st February 2019

I originally had two live shows planned for this week. Sadly one of them got cancelled and re-scheduled for the autumn. So I will have to wait until September to catch Ozzy Osbourne live in Helsinki. Get well soon Ozzy!!

This brings me to the other gig that I have been looking forward to for weeks – Lord of The Lost. I first discovered them three years ago when they came to Tampere supporting Combichrist. I was totally blown away by their performance and since then I have acquired most of their releases. Their latest album ‘Thornstar’ was one of my top 10 albums of 2018. So, needless to to say I jumped at the opportunity to see them live again. This time they played at a rock pub called Jack The Rooster, one of the few music venues in the city centre that also serves food during the day.

First up was a Finnish dark wave band called Rain Diary. I have seen them live before; just last year when they supported Vlad in Tears. This time they had a much bigger audience – the show was sold out and there was already a sizable crowd gathered when they started their set. It was a good show and enjoyed dancing to their music. 3.5/5

Then it was time for the night’s headliners – Lord of The Lost. The venue was packed by then. Their frontman Chris Harms made some comments about how small the stage was. Apparently it’s been many years since they have played on a stage this small. Luckily it did not affect their performance. They played many songs from ‘Thornstar’ including ‘On This Rock I Will Build My Church’, ‘Haythor’, ‘Loreley’ along with some old crowd-pleasers such ‘Dry The Rain’, ‘Six Feet Underground’, Drag Me To Hell’ and many more. They even did a rather amusing “metal” take on Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’. Fantastic show! 5/5

In summary, it was a really good night and I am glad that I got to see Lord of The Lost live again. As I mentioned at the start of this report the band has been a bit of an obsession of mine lately. I cannot get enough of their music. I would recommend their music to anyone who likes dark rock or Gothic industrial metal.

Iza Raittila

Iza’s Highlights of 2018

Posted in Alternative, Editorial/Opinionated, Industrial, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2018 by izaforestspirit

It’s that time of the year again! Time for my annual best of list or “highlights” as I prefer to call them. This year I have decided to do just one list rather than two separate ones for metal and non-metal. The main reason for this is that there have not been too many industrial/EBM releases that caught my attention this year. So without further ado, here are my top ten albums of 2018:

1. Powerwolf – The Sacrament of Sin
Genre: Power Metal
Powerwolf - The Sacrament of Sin

The German power metal wolves are back with a new album. And what an album it is!! I honestly cannot get enough of it. It may not be very profound as far as the themes go but it is hell of a lot of fun. Stand-out tracks are ‘Fire & Forgive’, ‘Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ and ‘Nightside of Siberia’.

2. Lord of The Lost – Thornstar
Genre: Dark Rock/Gothic Industrial Metal
Image result for lord of the lost thornstar
I absolutely adore this band. They combine the best of dark rock with Gothic metal and Deathstars-like industrial metal. ‘Thornstar’ has to be their greatest and most complex album to date. In order to fully understand the concept, I would recommend that you download the 21 paged ‘Thornstar backstory’ from the band’s website. It’s a fascinating read that offers some insight into Pangaean history and culture. Alternatively you can simply enjoy music. Stand-out tracks are ‘On This Rock I Will Build My Church’, ‘Haythor’ and ‘Black Halo’.

3. Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

Behemoth are back with their long-awaited new album. As I mentioned in my review, this is not ‘The Satanist part 2’ but rather a mixture of both old and new Behemoth styles. It takes a few listens but once you get into it your patience will be rewarded. Stand-out tracks are ‘Wolves ov Siberia’ and ‘Bartzabel’.

4. Chthonic – Battlefields of Asura
Genre: Melodic Black Metal/Oriental Metal
閃靈 - 政治 / Battlefields of Asura
My favourite oriental metal band are back. Their latest album might not be a memorable as ‘Bú Tik’ but it has its moments. Music-wise it offers more of Chthonic’s unique blend of melodic black metal, death metal and oriental folk music with the addition of some choirs and guest vocals from the Cantopop singer Denise Ho. Stand-out tracks are ‘A Crimson Sky’s Command’ and ‘Millennia’s Faith Undone’.

5. MONO Inc. – Welcome to Hell
Genre: Gothic Rock/Dark Rock
Image result for MONO INC WELCOME TO HELL cover
More Gothic rock…’ Welcome to Hell’ is my favourite MONO Inc. album to date. Their music is essentially melodic hard rock but it also has this wonderful, eerie Gothic feel. Stand-out tracks are ‘Long Live Death’, A Vagabond’s Life’ and Reign of Rats’.

6. Grimner – Vanadrottning
Genre: Folk Metal/Viking Metal
Grimner - Vanadrottning

I had the pleasure of reviewing this album earlier this year. It’s been a long while since I’ve heard any folk metal that was this good. I would recommend this to fans of Finntroll, Ensiferum and Månegarm. Stand-out tracks are ‘Vanadrottning’ and ‘En Fallen Jätte’.

7. Monstrosity – The Passage Of Existence
Genre – Death Metal
Monstrosity - The Passage of Existence
My kind of death metal and my favourite death metal album of 2018. It is hard to pick out a stand-out track since in all honestly I like them all but ‘Kingdom of Fire’ and ‘Maelstrom’ are the ones that stuck in my head the most.

8. Hanzel und Gretyl – Satanik Germanik
Genre: Industrial Metal/Groove Metal/Extreme Metal
Hanzel und Gretyl - Satanik Germanik
‘Satanik Germanik’ is Hanzel und Gretyl’s heaviest and most metal album. As mentioned in my review it is darker and more serious than the material from the “Fukken Über’ era, much like its predecessor ‘Black Forest Metal’. Luckily that does not make it any less fun. Stand-out tracks are ‘I Am Bad Luck’ and the party song ‘Trinken Mit Der Kaizer (Die Bierz From Hell)’

9. Scandroid – The Darkness
Genre: Synthwave
Image result for scandroid the darkness
One of the few electronic releases that made it to my top 10. ‘The Darkness’ is the third album from Klayton (Celldweller/Circle of Dust)’s synthwave project Scandroid. Delightful retro synthesizer tunes, a little guitar and melodic vocals all with a futuristic feel. Stand-out tracks ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Red Planet’.

10. Auger – The Awakening
Genre: Darkwave
Image result for auger the awakening
A new discovery for me. I really enjoyed Auger’s show at Lumous Gothic Festival 2018. This British dark wave duo combine the best of darkwave and Gothic rock. I would recommend their debut album to fans of Blutengel, Gothminister and The Vision Bleak. Stand-out tracks are ‘Monster’ and ‘My Guardian’.

Honourable mentions:

Xentrifuge – Desensitized Parallels, Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods, Psyclon Nine – Icon of The Adversary. All good albums but with only a few outstanding tracks they missed out on a space in my top ten list.
IAMX’s latest album ‘Alive in The New Light’ also came out of the start of this year. While it didn’t make my top ten I did enjoy it, especially the track ‘Mile Deep Hollow’.
Check out the video here:

Best live show of 2018: Helloween live at South Park Festival in Tampere.
Biggest New Discovery: Auger
Most anticipated albums in 2019:
Blutengel – Un:Gott
Blue Stahli – Obsidian
Also hopefully new albums by Helloween and Rammstein.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila

Lord of The Lost – Swan Songs II

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , on 2nd December 2017 by izaforestspirit

Lord of The Lost
Swan Songs II
Released 6th October 2017
Dark Rock/Gothic Rock/Classical
Released via Napalm Records

Image result for lord of the lost swan songs ii cover

The German dark rock band Lord of the Lost have been around for a decade. It was originally a solo project of the frontman Chris Harms; then he recruited other musicians before releasing the first album. Their style varies slightly with each release, ranging from the HIM-esque Gothic rock debut ‘Fears’, classical/acoustic ‘Swan Songs’, Latino rhythms on the single ‘La Bomba’ to industrial metal on ‘Empyrean’. This brings us to their latest opus‘ Swan Songs II’- another album combining dark rock with classical orchestra.

First up is the wonderfully sinister murder ballad Waiting For You To Die’ This song caught my attention even before the album’s release thanks to the beautiful lyric video. The orchestration makes the track all the more dynamic and memorable. Lighthouse makes you immediately want to get up and dance. It’s uplifting and the lyrics are surprisingly positive like the sun re-appearing again after a long, violent storm. I absolutely adore the chorus. It has been stuck in my head for weeks now. So much so that I’ve even started singing it to my children as a lullaby.

If it’s slow, sombre ballads with violins in the background you want, then My Better Me is the song for you. Personally I prefer Wonder in Sable. This melodic track picks up gradually after a slow start treating the listener to more gloriously performed orchestration and Chris Harms’s emotionally charged vocals.

In summary, Lord of the Lost have created a stunning piece of work. They have once again proven just how diverse and complex their music can be. Not all ensemble albums by rock bands are worth the hype but ‘Swan Songs II’ is great example of how well this concept can work.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

Foscor release entire back catalogue digitally

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 6th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Dark metallers Foscor have released their entire back catalogue digitally, including the band’s first three albums: 2004’s Entrance to the Shadows’ Village,  2007’s The Smile of the Sad Ones and 2009’s Groans to the Guilty. Each album includes lyrics and information. For the first month, the albums will be available for free download from this location. The band’s back catalogue is also available for streaming on YouTube.

With over a decade in the music scene, Foscor recently announced that the band’s natural musical progression and development has led to a change in style away from the traditional 90’s Black Metal mixed with other classical and modern extreme styles, for which they became know.  Breaking free from the restrictions the genre places on bands has enabled Foscor to expand their sound to include shades of Doom and Dark Rock, majestic interludes and a healthy flirtation with Prog.  Frontman Fiar is quick to point out though that fans will still recognise the distinctive Foscor style, which the band have not rejected, but have made better, and which will be very much in evidence in the band’s newly completed  fourth full-length album Those Horrors Wither.

Currently in search of a label for Those Horrors Wither, Foscor have chosen a somewhat unusual direction with the guest appearances on the album.  Instead of the expected vocals or instrumental solos, the notable guests have written and performed connecting passages between the tracks.

Foscor online:

http://foscor.com
http://facebook.com/foscor.official
http://soundcloud.com/foscor
http://twitter.com/FOSCOR_Official
http://youtube.com/user/FOSCORbcn
http://foscor.bigcartel.com
http://myspace.com/foscor
http://reverbnation.com/foscor

 

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Foscor complete new album and prepare for new era in band’s history

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 25th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

When dark metal outfit Foscor celebrated the tenth anniversary in 2012, they not only celebrated a decade of music but drew a line under an era in their history leading them to prepare for when they embark on the next ambitious one. With work on Foscor’s fourth full-length album now completed, and a complete visual overhaul of their online presence and logo, the groundwork for the new phase in the band’s career is well and truly established.

Formed in 1997 in Barcelona, in the Catalan region of Spain, Foscor took the traditional ‘90s Black Metal and mixed it with other classical and modern extreme styles to create a sound that has seen them through the release of 3 full-length albums, a live DVD commemorating their 10th Anniversary, 2 split releases and contributions on official Katatonia and Enslaved tribute albums, all of which have garnered them respect and a solid, and ever-growing, following.  Now, with their forthcoming album, which will be titled Those Horrors Wither, Foscor have honed their considerable musical skills and decided to take the first gigantic step away from the confines of Black Metal, towards an expansive multidimensional sound that encompasses shades of Doom and Dark Rock, Ambient interludes and a healthy flirtation with Prog.  It is a step that most clearly defines the band’s personal approach to their work, both musically and aesthetically, to date.

Commenting on the new sound and the new image of Foscor, founder and guitarist Falke and frontman Fiar had this to say:

It’s really not that strange that we would be moving in a different direction from the one we started out on because it’s a natural progression that comes from experience.  We’re not saying that our long-time fans will wake up one morning and not recognise FOSCOR any more, not at all, because we have a particular style that is recognisable as FOSCOR – but we’ve taken that style and made it into something better.  You could say that the new FOSCOR is evolution, not revolution, and, that being said, it actually needs new colours to define how we interpret Darkness, and Ideophony, who has previously worked with us on design, is the perfect partner to work with us now in physically visualising our new direction.

Foscor are currently looking for a label to release Those Horrors Wither, which includes some notable guest artists, who, somewhat unusually, rather than contributing the usual vocals or solos, have written and performed connecting passages between the tracks.  More information about Foscor can be found on the band’s website, which has been newly designed, at this location.

Foscor online:

http://www.foscor.com
http://www.facebook.com/foscor.official
http://soundcloud.com/foscor
http://twitter.com/FOSCOR_Official
http://www.youtube.com/user/FOSCORbcn
http://foscor.bigcartel.com
http://www.myspace.com/foscor
http://www.reverbnation.com/foscor